Aug 18 01:25 ET
|From The Kitchener-Waterloo Record:|
David Belitski won't soon forget his first Ontario Hockey League shutout, even if the most memorable activity happened well outside his goal crease.
"It was an experience," Belitski said of a bench-clearing brawl which erupted with 12 seconds left in the Kitchener Rangers' 3-0 victory Friday over the Sarnia Sting.
"It's a black mark on a well-played game," Ward said of the fighting that saw 11 players ejected, six from the Rangers, and may result in assault charges against Kitchener assistant coach Greg Bignell. Bignell, who along with the other participants faces OHL discipline, fought Sarnia assistant coach Bill Abercrombie at the Sting bench.
All of which could have been prevented, the principals maintained, had referee Kevin Mallin allowed frontier justice to be played out at the opening face-off. To recap, during a 4-3 Kitchener loss to the Sting Nov. 27, Sarnia's Dennis Maxwell grandstanded after decisioning Ranger defenceman Wes Swinson. The Rangers vowed revenge and so tough guy Garrett Burnett challenged Maxwell five seconds into Friday's game. However, both were immediately handed 10-minute misconducts. Nothing further developed, apart from a visor-to-visor discussion between Maxwell and big Ranger rearguard Jason Hughes later in the game, until Bill McGuigan scored the Rangers' third goal with 12 seconds left. Rob Maric scored his first OHL goal and Eric Manlow added an empty-netter for Kitchener.
On the faceoff after McGuigan's goal, Burnett, and later Hughes, and Maxwell attempted to fight but were prevented from doing so. Another fight erupted and then escalated, with Ranger forward Jason Byrnes winding up in the Sarnia bench. The Rangers claim he was pulled in, which resulted in Bignell getting involved, and the usual recriminations followed. Maxwell, Burnett and Hughes were ejected as well as Cory Prang, Sasha Cruz, Wes Mason and Jeff Brown of the Sting. Byrnes, Greg McLean, Paul Traynor and Andrew Taylor were the other Kitchener players tossed.
"All I wanted to do was have a fight with that guy," Burnett said of Maxwell. "I don't think it would have ended up like that if they had let us go on the first shift."
Maxwell agree, though he suggested accounts aren't settled.
Prang, Sarnia (fighting, game misconduct), Cucuz, Sarnia (fighting, game misconduct), Mason, Sarnia (fighting, double game misconduct), Maxwell, Sarnia (fighting, game misconduct), Brown, Sarnia (fighting, game misconduct), Burnett, Kitchener (fighting, game misconduct), McLean, Kitchener (fighting, game misconduct), Hughes, Kitchener (fighting, game misconduct), Traynor, Kitchener (fighting, game misconduct), Byrnes, Kitchener (fighting, game misconduct), Taylor, Kitchener (fighting, game misconduct), 19:48.